With over 90 million streams under his belt, 23 year old Thomas Stoneman better known as Thomston, has established himself as more than an internet favourite as well as furthering the Kiwis impeccable reputation for left-centred pop music. From impressing blogs with an experimental EP he released back in 2014, Thomston continued to hone his songwriting abilities and released his debut album Topograph in 2016. Student Pages caught up with the New Zealand artist to delve deeper into his incredible career, and what’s in store for the future!
For Thomas, music was not how he had initially imagined as forging his career. Completely ready to go to university to study urban planning, Stoneman found that a couple of his low-key songs he had written in his last year of high school had got his music on the radar of a couple management companies and NZ-based labels who wanted to meet with the aspiring artist. This culminated in a realization that this was a legitimate and viable thing for Thomas to pursue.
Thomston’s new releases ‘Casual’ & ‘Middle Name’ are about craving a deep personal meaning with someone beyond a surface level one night stand. For Stoneman, the music showcases a vulnerability he openly admits has been reluctan to reveal, one for which he is very happy to have shared through the lyrics.
“The goal had always been to try and communicate my feelings as potently as possible but over the course of this recent batch of music, I’ve realised it’s really okay to write music to make people happy.”
For Thomston, good pop music is usually, knowingly or not, designed to make the listener feel euphoric in certain ways. The tempo, the chords resolving, the tension and release, the production hitting specific marks. Stoneman finds these to be very pleasing to the ear and he believes with everything going on in the world right now, making people feel happy for a little bit is the right thing to do.
When it comes to finding the right people within the music industry, Thomas highlights it’s extremely important. However, he admits his lead single was one he wrote and produced by himself, so being able to be self-sufficient in his view is equally important.
“Collaborating is really fun though so when you find someone who gets really excited about the same guitar tone, that’s special.”
When it comes to advice, Thomston points out to being wise with the money you earn. Aspiring artists in Stoneman’s view should study the business side of the music industry. To Learn about contracts, learn about royalties, publishers, managers, labels, lawyers, accountants, producer fees, tour managers, etc. The reality being there is so much to learn. In Stoneman’s view, it is really difficult to be plunged into the deep end without any knowledge of how things work.
For Stoneman, getting the live show to its current point where he can tour much more efficiently and economically is key. “Touring is a really expensive exercise, but it’s also so amazing to connect with fans and friends around the world so I’ve been really looking forward to getting to this point.”
With the AU/NZ tour officially over, Thomston is in the process of starting on the album that will come after these EPs.
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